The Panthers made the latest big move on the quarterback market by trading for Sam Darnold on Monday, and while the Bears weren’t involved, the deal still has several implications for Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy.
To start, we can almost certainly lock the Jets into picking at quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. If you believe the hype, that pick will be Zach Wilson, leaving Justin Fields, Trey Lance and Mac Jones as the other QBs available with a consensus first-round grade. Remember the 49ers traded up to No. 3 overall last week, so we can safely take another quarterback off the board, leaving the Bears with two options if they opt to make a move on a quarterback in the first round.
The Panthers were one of the teams expected to take a first-round quarterback with the No. 8 overall pick, but now that they have their guy in Darnold, they could use that pick to fill another hole on their roster. If Atlanta or Denver also passes on a quarterback in the first round, that could open the door for Pace to trade up and draft whoever it is that ends up falling.
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In addition, current Panthers starter Teddy Bridgewater will likely hit the market now. If the Bears evaluate Bridgewater as a better option than Andy Dalton, they could make a move for Bridgewater.
While that last option doesn’t seem likely for the Bears, as Pace has reminded us all time and time again, “everything is on the table” at the quarterback position.